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Changing & Storing Your Winter Tires

Changing a winter tire

With another long winter over and done with, it’s time to change those winter tires for summer ones so you can carry on driving safely. Although there is no legal requirement to use winter tires in Alberta, it is highly recommended. Let’s face it, winter’s here don’t give you much of a choice!

When do tires need changing?

Sometimes it can be tricky to pinpoint exactly when to change your winter tires for summer ones. However, there are a few rules you can follow to know when it’s time. In provinces with mandatory winter tire regulations the earliest time you can change them for summer tires is mid to late March. The best rule is the seven degree rule. When the temperature is consistently over seven degrees then it’s time to get your summer tires out of storage. It is really important to change your winter tires for summer tires, as driving on hot asphalt will quickly wear them down if you don't.

How to change your tires

The first thing you will need to do is check your summer tires to make sure they’re still in the best shape they can be and not too worn. A good quick way to test the tread on your summer tires is the “Toonie Test”, all you need are your tires and a toonie! Simply put the toonie with its design upright into the groove of the tire you are inspecting, if the groove covers the silver part of the coin you are good to go. If the tires tread covers half of the writing or less then you need to replace those tires, and quickly! 

If you’re comfortable to change your tires yourself you’ll need some tools, ideally; a service jack, safety stands, a lug wrench or sockets, a compressor for inflating your tires, and breaker bars. If you’d rather save getting your hands dirty you can get your tires changed at a local garage or auto center. Just make sure you get them re-torqued after your first 50 to 100 miles.

Storing your Winter Tires

Now that you have changed your tires, you might be needing somewhere to store your spare set. Wrap them up in plastic to protect them, and avoid getting anything around you dirty and stash them away until next winter. If you’re struggling for space, we have ideal storage solutions here at Riel Park! Our household storage units are perfect for seasonal items such as winter tire storage, winter sports gear storage and any other large items you won’t need until the snow starts to fall again. See our storage rental pricing and find the ideal storage unit for you.

Caring For Your Winter Tires

It is important to care for your winter tires while on your vehicle as well as when in storage.  It is very important to always monitor and check the air pressure in your tires to ensure the correct air pressure is maintained.   Check your tire tread regularly and keep up on regular tire maintenance like rotations, alignments and balancing.

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